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Wenham, Leanne

Wenham, Leanne

Student. MA in Black British History @ Goldsmiths College, University of London


Leanne Wenham is a current postgraduate student studying the MA in Black British History at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has a background in fundraising, community development and public history. Leanne also holds an undergraduate LLB Law degree from the University of East Anglia, Norwich.

Geographical location : London, UK

Research Area and Interest : Caribbean Artists Movement, Anne Walmsley, Black Feminism,

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A woman’s place? What role did women play within the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) in Britain between 1966 – 1972?
Summary: Founded in London in 1966, the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) provided a multi-disciplinary forum for Caribbean artists including novelists, poets, playwrights, theatre directors, historians and academics to connect over a shared Caribbean aesthetic. Much of the published literature about CAM centres the achievements of men. This paper employs a Black feminist framework to examine the reasons why scholarship has developed in this way. It uses Anne Walmsley’s seminal text, The Caribbean Artists Movement 1966-1972 as the starting point and seeks to re-address this gender imbalance, by revisiting key primary and secondary sources to uncover the role that women played within the Movement. Opting to eschew Walmsley’s categorisation of CAM women as either ‘wives’ or ‘highly valued participants’, instead contending that women were involved in the Movement in two ways; they were either artists or undertook support roles. It is argued that both groups of women had a positive experience within CAM and played an integral role in achieving its aims. I also examine how attempts by scholars to provide a chronological account of the Movement has led to the side-lining of women, as these accounts almost inevitably start with the male founders. In recent years, there have been attempts to integrate CAM into various thematic analyses however these do not pay due regard to the continual activism of Black women. This paper provides a novel look at a Movement that inspired future generations of Black artists in the UK, Caribbean and further afield.

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